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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement


Afghanistan Desk

Convenor: Marissa Quie


In August 2021, the Taliban took control in Kabul, re-establishing the Islamic Emirate. Violent change and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan demand flexible and effective solutions. Dr Quie, leading this project, is an academic scholar with deep knowledge of policies. She has served as advisor to Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai from 2006 to 2012 and has since worked as College Lecturer in Politics at Magdalene College and Fellow & DoS in HSPS at Lucy Cavendish. Amongst others, she has provided evidence to the UK parliament and has promoted Rethinking of European and Afghan policy approaches to migration at Chatham House. In the course of 2021/22, she has advanced her research and policy paper on the implications of the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), which will lead to a workshop on this topic in 2022.


Recent events:

Together with the Rahela Trust and Omid International, The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement hosted a conference, “What next for Afghan women? Education and empowerment under the Taliban” on 17th October 2022. Keynote speakers were the former Foreign Minister and National Security Advisor, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta and former MPs and women’s rights activists, Fawzia Koofi and Shukria Barakzai. The objective of this Afghan-led event was to find solutions for Afghan women and refugees whose education has been disrupted by the Taliban’s return to power. Updates and videos to follow. 


Upcoming projects:

  1. We are exploring specialist mentoring and support platforms linking Afghans who have experienced disruption to their university education because of the Taliban takeover with experts at Cambridge and beyond. Equally, we plan to offer mentoring support to Afghan refugees who wish to pursue university education in the UK.
  2. We are running events to showcase the diversity and achievements of Afghan refugees in the UK including poets, actors and film producers, doctors, and journalists.
  3. We are planning a closed policy workshop looking at calls for inclusive government, resulting in a policy paper.
  4. We are planning a “Youth Convention” to discuss new visions for Afghanistan and to explore concrete solutions in the current context.




  • Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, is an Afghan politician who last served as National Security Advisor to President Hamid Karzai and as Foreign Minister of Afghanistan.
  • Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai is the former Chief Negotiator in the intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha. He previously served as Director of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Minister of Defence, CEO of the APRP and Minister for Telecommunications and Information and as Director for the Agency for Rehabilitation and Energy Conservation. He was a Chevening Scholar at Cambridge and the Jennings Randolph Afghanistan Fellow at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) 
  • Rahela Sidiqqi is the Founder and Director of the Rahela Trust for Afghan Women's Education. She is Chair of Women’s Rights Activists and the UK based NGO, Afghanistan Emergency & Development Aid Network. Rahela is also the Chair of Middle East Women and Youth Society. She was previously Country Director at Rasa Advocacy and Skill Building, Senior Advisor to the Civil Service Commission (Afghanistan) and a Senior Advisor to UN Habitat (Afghanistan) 


Research links